Turkey has said it is willing to speak with the US to resolve an ongoing dispute between the two NATO allies, as the White House appeared to ratchet up pressure on Ankara.
Speaking to a group of foreign ambassadors in Ankara on Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appeared to extend an olive branch to US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“Despite everything, we are ready to talk about everything to solve the existing problems as equal partners,” he said. “I speak openly but only on one condition – no threatening, no dictating.”
Cavusoglu also called on the US to “take into account our frustrations” with American policies.
His conciliatory remarks came as Washington said that tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium were unrelated to the case of Andrew Brunson, a Christian evangelical pastor held in Turkey on terrorism charges, and would remain even if he were to be released.
“The tariffs that are in place still would not be removed with the release of Pastor Brunson,” White House press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders said.
“The tariffs are specific to national security,” she said, without specifying the nature of the national security concerns.